Getting pissed

Posted by Smokey Stover on October 08, 2005

In Reply to: Getting pissed posted by Bob on October 08, 2005

: : Where does the saying (getting pissed) come from?

: It may depend on which side of the pond you find yourself. In the UK, it means drunk; in the US, it means annoyed and angry. (Someone else will have to supply origins....)

And not just which side of the pond. Pissed means drunk in the U.S. as well, sometimes, so getting pissed might very well mean getting drunk. Or, in the U.S., getting very cross. All these words or phrases, brassed off, browned off, ticked off, pissed off, all coming into favor after World War II, seem like obvious variations on a theme, the pissed off phrase suggesting what often happens in the U.S. Make the phrase more vulgar and it may be more forceful. Alternatively, sometimes a phrase is toned down to make it more acceptable, as in, "I'm freakin' mad at you!" Or, "I kicked him in the a** on general principles" can become "I kicked him in the butt...." Nowadays, such euphemisms often go by the board. SS